Guest Writer: Jokinen Extinguishes The Flames
Very pleased to introduce the following guest writer. Kornburg is a memorabilia junkie. I met him through a friend on Twitter last week, and so far I've been impressed with everything he's shown me. Today, he's submitted a piece on the Calgary Flames, more specifically Olli Jokinen. Take a look. You can find Kornburg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@kornburg
Greetings hockey fans. This is Kornburg and I am here to share with you my thoughts on why Olli Jokinen has never amounted to the superstar status he achieved in Florida, while also explaining why the Calgary Flames are going to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Although some might argue that the Flames lack depth and their management is sub-par, I strongly disagree that these reasons justify why the Flames are going to miss the postseason.
Olli Jokinen was born December 5th 1978 in Kuopio. Finland. He seemed destined for greatness when he was selected 3rd overall by the LA Kings in the 1997 NHL entry draft. With such high expectations, it is sometimes normal for players not to achieve greatness in the NHL. However, Jokinen has now played over 950 NHL games with 5 different NHL teams in his lengthy career.
Although the Kings drafted Jokinenm he only lasted two seasons in LA before he found himself with a new team. That team which was willing to take a chance on the 1st round prospect was the New York Islanders. Usually players drafted in the 1st round of the draft, especially the first 5 picks, are considered to be franchise players and could be considered assets to be built around for the future. Give credit to the Kings, however, because they were smart enough to realize that Jokinen possessed other qualities that the team recognized as damaging to the organization.
Once Jokinen was an Islander, he lasted only one season on Long Island. He was later traded to the Florida Panthers where he played some of the best hockey of his NHL career. He was a major piece of the controversial trade that sent him and Roberto Luongo to the Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kavasha. Although the Panthers seemingly won this trade because Luongo ended up being one the best goalies in the league, they also were given a failed NHL prospect with massive upside, Olli Jokinen.
Jokinen ended up playing seven seasons with the Panthers before he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes at the draft for the upcoming 2008-2009 season. The Coyotes attempted to build a team to compete for the Stanley Cup but ended up missing the playoffs that year and traded Jokinen to the Calgary Flames. This time he was dealt on deadline day
One thing worth mentioning is that before the deadline deal to the Flames, Jokinen had never been apart of a team that has played in the playoffs. In Jokinen's seven seasons with the Panthers, he managed only two seasons with 70+ points, recording an average of 90 points between the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 season. The Panthers failed to make the playoffs all seven years when Jokinen was a Panther.
The Flames were considered to be Cup contenders in 2008-2009 trading a 1st round draft pick and speedy center Matt Lombardi for Olli Jokinen on deadline day. However, they were bounced in the first round. Jokinen, with one remaining year left on his contract with the Flames, played 56 games the year after before ONCE AGAIN he traded. This time to the New York Rangers. The Flames were going to miss the playoffs for the first time in five years and the New York Rangers believed they needed a big center to help them win a Stanley Cup.
As a New York Ranger, Jokinen played 26 games and tallied only 15 points while scoring a measly 4 goals. To add insult to injury, the Rangers missed the playoffs on the last game of the season in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Jokinen was responsible for missing the final shootout attempt of the 2009-2010 season, which resulted in a 9th place finish for what seemed to be a playoff-bound Rangers squad.
Olli Jokinen Resume:
-L.A Kings make the playoffs the year after Jokinen is not on the team
-Islanders miss the playoffs the year after Jokinen is not on the team
-Panthers miss the playoffs the year after Jokinen is not on the team
-Coyotes MAKE the playoffs as the #4 seed after Jokinen is not on the team
-Rangers miss the playoffs once they traded for him in the 2009-2010 season
-Rangers make the playoffs this year because Jokinen is not on the team
-Flames miss the playoffs again this year because Jokinen was back on the team
My theory that Jokinen is an instant cancer to any of the NHL team he joins seems flawed when looking at the stats provided above. In my defense it is important to understand that they only two teams that “Jokinen theory” did not affect was the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders. **Both of which are arguably the two worst organizations in the NHL and problems run deeper then just Olli Jokinen.**
Therefore I ask my readers why is it that Jokinen is still a sought after commodity in the NHL? I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words, and when you look at his career stats, that's all I see.
**955 regular seasons game played, 6 playoff games.**
Jokinen has never won a major championship in any professional hockey league (Swiss A, Sel and SM-Liiga) and is a proven cancer to the NHL and any organization he plays for. Why is it that ever team he plays for miss the playoffs only to make the playoffs the year after?
That is for you to answer!